Monday, April 13, 2009

discrimination or a glitch?

The first thing I thought of this morning when I saw the Publisher's Weekly article about Amazon's new crappy sales ranking system was this particular scene from the hilarious movie Office Space:

The frustrating thing is...this is reality. Whether Amazon truly is experiencing a glitch in the system or they're actually excluding 'adult' titles from the searches and sales rankings, the fact remains that it's a sucky situation. And I can't figure how they're deciding what's good and what's naughty. Lora Leigh's "Coyote Mate" has a sales ranking, yet Kate Douglas' latest "Wolf Tales" doesn't. Er, huh?
Of course this new 'adult' policy doesn't include horror. Nope, that's still acceptable to the public. Again, torture, blood, death is a-okay, while sex and love is to be hidden away like an ugly little mut. Whatever.
What it all boils down to, is a whole bunch of BS if you ask me. I'm tired of erotic romance authors constantly getting the shit end of the stick. And if you want to help change the situation sign this petition.
Because I'm still trying to get caught up after a busy weekend--Spring Break & Easter--I haven't had time to look at the various blogs/sites discussing this shitty situation. But it's been brought to my attn that this seems to be largely aimed at gay titles, and not just romance, but non-fiction. Dear Author has an interesting article as does Cnet Does it change the tone of my post? Not really. I'm still pissed. Discrimation tends to do that to me.


Valerie T. said...

I don't understand this 'policy'. What possible reason is there to do this?

This 'glitch' explanation is just a cop out so they don't have to face this firestorm of unhappy people.

I will never buy from Amazon again, regardless of whether or not they fix this 'glitch'.

I'm hoping that the backlash of all of this has hurt them where it counts - the wallet.

Dana Marie Bell said...

I agree, but it's not just romance like Megan Hart/Lauren Dane's Taking Care of Business that's being hit. It's GLBT titles, both fiction and non-fiction. A guide to gay life on college campuses? REALLY? That lost its ranking? A biography of Harvey Milk?

Someone over at Dear Author did an analysis of how the books seemed to be removed. It was an interesting read. According to them, "It appears that all the content that was filtered out had either “gay”, ”lesbian”, ”transgender”, “erotic” or “sex” metadata categories."

Some "glitch". I could see one, POSSIBLY two words causing a problem; we are talking computers. But FIVE? Gah. The mind just boggles.

Anne Rainey said...

Valerie--I remember years ago )(I wasn't a writer then) when a lot of authors were in an uproar because Amazon chose to put 'buy used' links right nex to the 'new' link. Authors felt it was terribly unfair. I agreed and a lot of others did as well. Unfortunately, Amazon never took down those 'buy used' links. These days the interent population is a bit more 'vocal' though. I don't think this is going to get swept under the rug quite so easily.

Dana--Thanks so much for explaining this! I haven't had time (with it being Sprink Break and Easter) to go through the various blogs/sites discussing this situation. I'm going to put an 'edit' on my post to show this IS NOT just erotic romance.

Regina Carlysle said...

Glitch my BUTT! Yeah, I read that puny excuse last night. From what I understand if you plug in GAY or Homosexual, you'll get a list of titles geared toward "CURING THE CONDITION". EEEK. Are these people nuts? Sounds like someone is really into policing our morals. The internet was burning with outrage all day yesterday. And yeah, I signed the petition and sent it out to friends.

Kelley Nyrae said...

This is wrong. It is discrimination plain and simple. I hope Amazon loses a lot of sales over this.

Regina Carlysle said...

I assure you, Kelley, they WILL! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

Unknown said...

I talked about this over on my blog too - Dear Author and Smart Bitches Trashy books are doing a great job following this whole thing so I link to them.

I used to do the Amazon Associates program, but I've pulled all their ads from my site.

Censorship and discrimination are just not acceptable. No matter what your beliefs - if you don't like it don't buy it!

Mary Ricksen said...

If I could change everything that makes no sense I would wave that wand and be done with it.
Discrimination is not right under any circumstances.

Anne Rainey said...

Have you all checked Amazon? Seems the masses have made a difference! Yay!!